Shaquille O’Neal, or more famous as Shaq, is a New Jersey-born retired American professional basketball player. He stands seven feet and an inch tall, and weighs 325 pounds (147 kg). He is considered as one of the heaviest players in the National Basketball Association. At size 22, he has the biggest shoe size in the league. He was born on March 6, 1972 to Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney. He is currently a sports analyst on the Inside the NBA.
He graduated from Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas. During his senior year, he helped the basketball team win the championship. Shaq went to Louisiana State University to study business. He has received several awards such as the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, UPI College Basketball Player of the Year, two-time Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, two-time NCAA Men's Basketball All-American, and an Adolph Rupp Trophy. He left LSU and pursued a basketball career with the NBA.
In the 1992 NBA draft, Shaq was the first overall pick of the Orlando Magic. He is the first basketball athlete to become Player of the Week in his first week of playing. He also won the 1993 Rookie of the Year.
In Shaq’s second season 1993-1994, he teamed up with Penny Hardaway and had Brian Hill as coach. They were able to bring the team to the Playoffs. In the 1994-1995 season, he finished second in the voting for MVP against David Robinson. Teaming up with Hardaway, they were able to get into the All-Star Game. In the 1995-1996 season, Shaq missed 28 basketball games because of a right thumb injury after being fouled by Matt Geiger of the Miami Heat.
In the 1995-1996 season, Shaquille O’Neal became a free agent. He was selected to be part of the United States Olympic basketball team. Shaq also inked a seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $121 million. He said he was not after the money and said, "I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok."
Head coach Phil Jackson told Shaq in 1999 that he should win the MVP before he retires. With Jackson’s triangle offense method and the tandem of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers became the NBA champs for three consecutive years from 2000 to 2002, and Shaq was the MVP of the NBA Finals in those years.
Shaq played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996 to 2004 wearing jersey number 34. He asked to be traded to the Miami Heat after he had issues with his pay. He played for the Heat from 2004 to 2008 and diverted his jersey number to 32. In 2008, Shaq joined the Phoenix Suns as a trade for Marius Banks and Shawn Marion. He joined the All-Star Game in 2009 and came out as an MVP with Kobe Bryant.
In 2009, O’Neal was traded by the Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the aim to cut costs. In 2010, Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck acquired Shaq. In June 2011, Shaquille O’Neal announced via Twitter that he is retiring after nineteen years in the NBA.
Top Shaquille O’Neal Basketball Shoes and the Techs that Make Them Great
When he joined the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal was an ambitious business student who made it clear that he wants to have a line of his own signature merchandise, including shoes. He did not want to be a rookie player who will be in the league for a couple of years and be gone.
As a starting athlete, Nike and Reebok were his top suitors for a signature deal. During negotiations, he was clear that he wants to be involved in every step of the whole signature shoe process such as designing, marketing, and even starring in his own commercials. Nike did not want to yield to Shaq’s demands, and they made him more pissed by signing Alonzo Mourning. O’Neal was so annoyed that he once arrived for a meeting at the Nike world headquarters wearing Reebok from head to toe.
As business-minded as he is, he wanted a secure and stable enterprise. In the process, he trademarked his own logo so he is able to produce his own footwear and apparel without having to re-establish another branding set.
In his rookie year, O’Neal was able to ink a signature shoe agreement with Reebok, and the contract was from 1992 to 1998. He became the company’s first-ever signature athlete from any sport. Then Reebok president Roberto Muller asked him to sign the contract, telling O’Neal that it already has everything he demands including the $3-million annual pay for five years. But the big man was not convinced. He had the contract checked and modified. He ended up with a $5-million-per-year contract for five years with all creative control.
Six years later, Reebok told him that he was not selling a lot of shoes despite his great on-court performances. The contract was eventually not renewed, and Shaq saw that as an opportunity to start building his empire. There were speculations that he left the brand to create his own shoe line.
In the 90s, it is reported that O’Neal and Reebok had the biggest sneaker partnership in the industry. A decade later, Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes start re-emerging to celebrate the big man’s history.
Listed below are the sneakers that became a huge part of the not so distant past:
- Shaq Attaq. Originally released in 1992, the first Shaq Attaq features the Graphlite technology. It is a lightweight and durable plastic fiber that provides stability at the midfoot especially upon landing. The herringbone traction pattern on these Shaq basketball shoes works great on both indoor and outdoor courts. The comfortable leather upper has suede overlays for durability. The Pump technology delivers supreme cushioning to the shoe. These Shaq sneakers were first re-released in 2013. Since then, these Shaq basketball shoes have been re-released nine more times. Below are the release dates of the Shaq Attaq with the corresponding colorways and prices.
- April 19, 2013. The first re-release of the Shaq Attaq came in the White/Black-Azure-Steel colorway. It is a white pair with black and light blue accents. It was retailed at $160.
- August 30, 2013. Matching the road uniforms of the Orlando Magic, the Away colorway of the Shaq Attaq from Reebok was released in limited pairs at $165.
- October 4, 2013. The Big Shaqtus Suns is considered a Phoenix Suns colorway. These $160 Shaq sneakers are a combination of orange, black, and purple. Each shoe also features rays at the collar.
- November 29, 2013. Shaq was born in Newark, New Jersey, which is also known as the Brick City. These Shaq Attaq “Brick City” are released to pay homage to his birthplace. Still at $160, these Shaq sneakers come in a limited quantity. These Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes have gray uppers with black, red, and white accents as well as a speckled midsole.
- December 13, 2013. Just in time for the holidays in 2013, the Shaq Attaq “Ghost of Christmas Present” was released at $160. This colorway has a racing green upper and an excellent red inner with sonic green and white accents.
- February 14, 2014. The LSU colorway of the Shaq Attaq was released in honor of Shaquille O’Neal’s alma mater. These classic $160 Shaq shoes by Reebok feature tiger stripes at the inner lining and collar. The purple upper is made of textured leather accented with yellow and white.
- March 16, 2014. A month after the LSU colorway, the Shaq Attag in Royal/Navy-Yellow hit the shelves. These Shaq basketball shoes were sold at a hefty price of $300 a pair.
- February 11, 2015. As part of the “Token38” pack, the Shaq Attaq was re-released by Reebok in collaboration with Packer Stuff and Sneakersnstuff. Dubbed the “Neon Edition,” the Shaq shoes by Reebok retailed at $160.
- January 20, 2017. In early 2017, the OG or White/Black-Azure-Steel colorway made a comeback at the same price of $160.
- February 16, 2018. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Shaq Attaq, the Superman colorway was released in selected Shoe Palace locations. It comes with matching Superman Stance socks and tee. The pumps in the tongue feature Superman logos.
- Shaq Attaq 2. Shaquille O’Neal was playing for the Orlando Magic when he broke the backboard in 1993. He was wearing the Shaq Attaq 2. The buyers’ favorite Shaq Attaq 2 colorways are the white/blue/black and black/white/blue.
- Shaq Attaq 3. The Shaq Attaq 3 was released in 1994 as part of the Instapump line. Two independent CO2 cartridges are included in each purchase. These cartridges are used to inflate the pump and customize the fit. Like their predecessors, these Shaq shoes by Reebok are equipped with the same Hexalite technology.
- Shaq Attaq 4. The Shaq Attaq 4 is the high-top shoe used by O’Neal in the 1994-1995 season with his Orlando Magic team. It features a herringbone traction pattern on a non-marking rubber outsole. For cushioning, the Pump technology provides air to the Neoprene sockliner. The Hexalite technology with a honeycomb pattern provides impact protection and stability during landing. The shoe further boasts a speed-lacing system that uses lace loops and round shoelaces. The upper of these Shaq basketball shoes is made of perforated leather and mesh for comfort and ventilation. The fourth signature shoe of Shaq has been re-released five times:
- July 25, 2014. The Orlando-Magic-themed colorway features a black upper with blue and white accents. These OG Shaq sneakers were priced at $140.
- November 7, 2014. Shaquille O’Neal dedicates the Brick City colorway of the Shaq Attaq 4 to Newark. The $140 shoe features a steel grey upper with a black collar, California blue accents, and a speckled midsole.
- December 1, 2014. With a white-base upper, these Shaq shoes are accented with red and royal blue. They retailed at $160 in late 2014.
- December 24, 2014. In late 2014, the Shaq Attaq 4 was released in a new colorway Impact Blue/White-Gust Blue-Excellent Red. At $140, this blue synthetic leather and nubuck pair has some special graphics on it.
- February 27, 2015. In early 2015, the Shaq Attaq 4 was again retroed. This version comes with a clean white-base upper with black accents for contrast. It was sold at $140 a pair.
- Shaqnosis. In the 1995-1996 NBA season, Reebok released the big man’s ultimate favorite: the Shaqnosis. The fifth signature Shaq shoes feature a perforated leather upper with concentric circles in an attempt to hypnotize opponents on court. The non-marking outsole rubber boasts a wavy herringbone pattern with concentric circles and zigzags for floor control and grip. The Hexalite technology in a honeycomb pattern delivers optimal court feel. The Pump Technology has a ball pump to customize the cushioning of the tongue for a comfortable and secure ankle hug.
- July 12, 2013. The Shaqnosis were retroed for the first time in the OG Black/White colorway. A pair cost $115 and was considered the most famous among all Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes.
- August 2, 2013. As part of the “Florida Rivalry Pack,” the OG Rivalry Orlando colorway is a combination of blue and black with a white vector logo. These Shaq shoes by Reebok were available in kid’s sizes.
- August 9, 2013. The OG Rivalry Miami is released as part of the “Florida Rivalry Pack.” This has a white upper with red concentric circles, and a black and yellow collar. These Reebok sneakers were retailed for $115 and were also available in kids’ sizes.
- August 28, 2013. The Steel colorway has a metallic silver upper, a black midsole and inner walls, and a glow-in-the-dark outsole. The $115 colorway is inspired by the on-court Superman persona of Shaquille O’Neal. On the same date, the OG Barracks colorway was also released. It is inspired by the big man’s childhood in a military base. It comes in a cargo green upper, a black midsole, and a lush and khaki outsole.
- September 6, 2013. The Silver/Black colorway is also called the OG Man of Steel. These Shaq basketball shoes are entirely silver with a black midsole.
- October 18, 2013. The OG Escape from LA colorway of the Shaq sneakers for sale has a black upper with accents of purple, yellow, red, and grey. It was sold at $115 per pair.
- December 18, 2013. In a rainbow-like pattern, the white base upper of the Shaqnosis has a colorful set of concentric circles. Blue, yellow, black, purple, red, and green fill the spaces at the side panels. These Shaq sneakers were sold at $115.
- December 1, 2014. With a white-base upper, these Shaqnosis have a black collar, yellow concentric circles and red accents. The second colorway is a Blue/Teal-White-Citron colorway. It has a teal upper with blue, white and citron accents. It was made available at $115.
- July 10, 2015. The Royal/White-Sheer Grey-Flux Orange colorway was released at $150.
Signature shoes owe their existence not only to the inked agreement between the athlete and the shoe brand but also to the great team of designers and engineers who work on them. They spend months and even years brainstorming ideas to create technologies and build the right materials to achieve the perfect footwear for the signature athletes. The following are the geniuses who led the Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes to success and greatness:
- Judy Close. Judy Close started working for Reebok in 1987. It was an exciting time since there were no athletes signed with Reebok yet, and they want to make it big. Tasked to design the Shaq Attaq, Judy met with the legendary baller in his house in a military base. It was overwhelming for her to design a shoe for such a literally huge athlete who makes her feel so tiny. She was given such a short time to turn the shoe sketches to life. The Shaq Attaq turns out to be her favorite design of all time.
According to Close, the structure of these Shaq sneakers depend not only on her two-dimensional drawings but also on the 300-pound weight and the size 20 foot of the then 20-year old Shaquille O’Neal. Judy Close had to travel to Korea to have the shoe manufactured. There were nonstop calls to and from the United States just to make sure that the project is on track. There was just so much pressure to deliver the shoe on time.
- Jonathan Morris. Jonathan Morris started working for Reebok in 1989 as a designer of tennis shoes. He designed the Pump Victory 2 and Pump Low. He also designed the Amazon which is Reebok’s first outdoor sandal. He also designed the Cliffhanger which is a cross between a street and mountain shoe. For the basketball category, he was tasked to create Shawn Kemp’s Kamikaze II.
The Shaqnosis was originally a project for E Scott Morris, Jonathan’s good friend and fellow designer at Reebok. However, during a meeting with then-CEO Paul Fireman, Jonathan’s design gained more favor. He focused on circles and wavy patterns. Jonathan’s imagination and idea the creation of a ripple effect. Next thing he knew, he was already handling the design of the Shaqnosis. He made some modifications to E. Morris’s design by adding a Dunkman logo at the heel and overhauling the look of the outsole area.
Logos and Symbolisms on Shaquille O'Neal Basketball Shoes
Signature shoes won’t be recognized if not for the logos and symbolisms etched on them. They stand for the history, success, and continued dominance of both the sport and the athlete.
A man with big dreams, the young Shaquille O’Neal wants to succeed not only in basketball, but also in his business ventures. Despite criticisms from people, he persevered and became who he is now. The following are some of the unique element found on Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoes:
- SHAQ. The SHAQ logo is regarded as one of the most successful logos in the sneaker industry. An analyst says that the ratio of the height and width of the letters is what makes the logo so famous and successful. The top of the S has the Shaq Dunkman logo, making it apparent that the logo has its own brand equity.
- Shaq Dunkman. The Shaq Dunkman logo was created in 1992. Nobody dunks like Shaquille O’Neal, therefore, nobody else should benefit from his unique logo. It shows him dunking with his legs and distinguishable enormous feet thrusting forward. He trademarked the logo and made businesses out of it even after the Reebok stunt.
- 32. The number 32 is seen on the heel of the Shaq Attaq 2. It was his jersey number when he was playing with the Orlando Magic.
What motivated O’Neal to create budget-friendly Shaq shoes?
In 1996, a crying mother approached Shaq when he was finishing an Orlando Magic practice. She asked why he cannot sell affordable sneakers. Shaq reasoned that Reebok decides the prices. He offered her $200 but she declined and walked away. Over a decade later, Shaq still remembers that painful moment. After leaving Reebok, Shaq created an affordable shoe line that focuses on kids’ sizes. For him, it is not realistic and practical to spend too much on basketball shoes.
What are the monickers of Shaquille O’Neal?
Shaquille O’Neal himself and some journalists have nicknames for the big man. Shaq calls himself the Hobo Master and The Big Aristotle. The public is dubbed as The Big Conductor, Shaqovic, The Big Leprechaun, The Big Shamrock, The Real Deal, The Big Baryshnikov, Wilt Chamberneezy, The Big Galactus, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Cactus, The Big Agave, Superman, The Big Daddy, Shaq Fu, The Diesel, and the last and most popular nickname is the Shaq.
Off the court, what are Shaq’s other ventures?
When Shaquille O’Neal left Louisiana State University, he made a promise to his mother that he will finish his studies. In 2000, he graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. He continued studying online at the University of Phoenix to finish his MBA degree. A life lesson he shared, “It's just something to have on my resume for when I go back into reality. Someday I might have to put down basketball and have a regular 9-to-5 like everybody else.”
Shaquille O’Neal also became a part of law enforcement. He is currently a deputy in Jonesboro, Georgia.
His music career started in 1993 by composing rap songs. One compilation album and five studio albums were released from 1993 to 2001. Shaq has also acted in movies and has lent his voice to some animated films and series.
He was also involved with video games, television, advertising, mixed martial arts, and professional wrestling.
His business ventures include investing in stocks in various companies, such as General Electric, Apple, NRG Esports, and PepsiCo. He is also a real estate entrepreneur. He became a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings in 2013. He became a global spokesperson for Krispy Kreme after purchasing a location in Atlanta, Georgia.
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